Commentary by Samuel Strait – March 16, 2023
Maine Lobsters, so what is this all about? For the local fishing
industry it could mean quite a lot. For decades local fishermen have
been forced to comply with Sacramento government and the Church of
Environmental extremism just to eek out a basic living. What once was a
local and profitable economic industry that supported many of the local
population, regulation, much of it spurred by environmental extremism,
has made a once vibrant industry a pale shadow of what it once was.
Gone is the ability for many local fishermen to make a comfortable
living in fisheries that grace the North Coast, often closed by the ever
growing burden of regulation and environmental groups pleading the case
of “we must protect our oceans from the predatory practices of the
commercial fishing fleet.”
In a recent effort on the part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation,
an extremely powerful environmental group, set their sights on the
lobster fishermen of Maine nearly three thousand miles away from the
source of their collective ire. This group regularly makes
recommendations on where to obtain sea food for sea food buyers and
restaurant chains. Recently they down graded Maine lobster to “avoid”
due to its impact on North Atlantic Right Whales. The foundation
claimed that using scientific data and a transparent science-based
process, the Maine lobster fishery was responsible for decline of the
Right Whale population in the North Atlantic.
Since the publication of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation’s report,
the Maine Lobster Association has recorded a substantial decline in its
formerly $700 million in sales. When the Maine Lobstermen’s Association
(MLA) approached the Foundation
for the “scientific data” it claimed to have, they received nothing in
return. Fact of the matter, federal data has shown “no Right Whales
having ever been recorded as to have died from entanglement in lobster
fishery gear in Maine. In addition Maine lobster fishermen have been
good stewards of the Atlantic, protecting their way of life well beyond
what was necessary to protect ocean species from any dangers their gear
So, you might ask, where is the “beef”? It seems the MLA got tired of
the Foundation’s unwillingness to reveal the “scientific data” they
claimed to be in possession of, and filed a defamation law suit in Court
against the Foundation’s blatant attempt to put them out of business.
They hope with a positive result to eradicate the misinformation done by
folks who are clueless about the care taken by lobstermen to protect the
ecosystem and the ocean. This is a step that should be taken by many of
the businesses, developers, and resource based enterprises that endure
substantial economic loss due to the meritless practices of most
environmental extremists. While the Foundation squawks about “freedom
of speech” and seeking “to curtail First Amendment rights of a beloved
institution”, they seem oblivious to the weakness of their position.
All over the United States and the World, people are waking up to the
fact that environmentalism needs to reign it in and actually be stewards
of the planet in order to continue to be relevant in a changing world.
Gone is the formerly blank check to do as they have done in the past.
Too often, claims by this “church” have not come to fruition and it is
time to use the courts to make them pay for the damages they seem to
dish out with very little consequence. Perhaps a few multi million
dollar judgements way quell the ardor found in the “church”.